Our Mission

Safe Space is a non-profit organization that is committed to reducing relationship violence in Franklin County, North Carolina and nearby communities. Since 1995, we have assisted hundreds of domestic violence victims and their children. Visit our services page to learn more about what we do.


Executive Director


Monica KearneyMonica Kearney, MSW

Monica Kearney is the Executive Director of Safe Space Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault services agency in Franklin County. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of New England.

Monica has over twenty years of experience in the social work profession. Her roles include nonprofit management/executive director, early childhood education services, outreach and community education.

Monica is a trailblazer for women and children and for those issues which impede upon their health and well-being. Her spirituality, family, and network, of supportive friends, keep her grounded and are the source of her strength. Her experiences fuel that the passion and commitment to enhance programs and services for women and children who suffer from the impact of domestic violence and sexual assault in Franklin County.


Board of Directors

Shanita S. Brown

ShanitaBrownDr. Shanita Brown, M.Ed, LPCA, NCC is a doctoral candidate at North Carolina State University. She is completing a dissertation exploring the intersection of domestic violence, spirituality, and race among African American women survivors.

A Licensed Professional Counselor Associate and National Certified Counselor, Shanita has over 12 years of experience in the mental health field. Shanita enjoys working out and spending time with family and friends.

Sarah Crawford


Sarah Crawford is a seasoned nonprofit and political professional with more than 15 years experience in marketing and community outreach, and a decade of experience in fundraising, raising nearly $11 million for local causes and candidates.  Sarah has dedicated her career to serving the community, starting in constituent services for a Member of Congress, moving into political fundraising and marketing.  Sarah has raised money statewide in North Carolina and has experience working with nonprofits in the areas of health and human services, education services, animal welfare and higher education. Additionally, Sarah ran for North Carolina Senate in 2014, mounting the most expensive legislative race in the history of the state and challenging an incumbent in one of North Carolina’s most competitive Senate districts.

Sarah currently serves as State Director for Single Stop USA, a national nonprofit, and also owns Willow Strategies, a full service fundraising and project management consulting firm.  She has previously served as Director of Development and Public Relations for Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities and has worked in major gifts at Duke University and Health Systems.  Sarah serves on the Board of Advisors for the Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation and NCSU’s School of Public and International Affairs.  In addition to Safe Space, she also serves on the Board of Directors for Band Together.

Jim Grove

Don James “Jim” Grove is a retired environmental engineer. He received a BS and MS in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University. He has been a board member of Safe Space for most of the last 17 years, and board chair for the last 10 years.He has been a volunteer fireman and board treasurer of Mitchiner’s Crossroads Fire Department for the last 23 years. He was recognized as Franklin County Citizen of the Year in 2007. He has mentored numerous young men.

“Having observed the destructive effects of domestic violence first-hand, I have committed myself to do what I can to help others take back control of their lives,” says Jim.

Stephanie Haskell


Stephanie M. Haskell, who was born in New Hampshire and grew up outside of Boston, MA, has fallen in love with the southern lifestyle. She completed her bachelors degree in 2011 at Nichols College, where she majored in Business Management and minored in Psychology. She has a passion for working in academia, so she moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, during the summer of 2011 to receive her Masters Degree in College Student Affairs at Nova Southeastern University. Shortly after graduating in 2013, she took a job in the Office of Student Engagement at Louisburg College. In her role at the college, she plans and hosts events for the students, coordinates community service opportunities, assists with the orientation program, oversees publicity and social media, and also manages to teach one section of the ACA 122 course each fall semester.

Stephanie is very passionate about helping others in any way possible. When asked to join the Board of Directors at Safe Space, she immediately said, “yes.” This position allows her to get college students involved in the organization. These students play a key role by assisting at the Variety Shop and with events. Stephanie also holds a seat on the Board of Directors for United Way of Franklin County.

In her spare time (on the rare occasion that she has spare time), she enjoys working out, shopping, and spending time with those that she loves. Stephanie lost her mother at the age of seven, and although it was not directly related to domestic violence, she enjoys serving on this board to educate others and fight to end domestic violence and sexual assault. Her life motto is “everything happens for a reason.”

Anna Meadows


After earning her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of NC at Chapel Hill, Anna worked for 13 years as a reporter and editor for three community newspapers. She currently works as a legislative assistant for a House member in the NC General Assembly.

Helping others has always been her passion. She served for several years as a member, chairman and mentor with Franklin County Friends of Youth and has been on the Safe Space Board of Directors since 2006 where she serves as secretary. Anna spends her spare time reading, watching movies and volunteering at the Safe Space Variety Store. She is a former member of the Louisburg Area Jaycees. One of her inspirations for serving on the board is chairman Jim Grove, who works so tirelessly to assure that the organization is running smoothly. His dedication is contagious.

Larry Marciniak


Larry is a Buffalo native and holds a management degree from SUNY-Buffalo. Now retired, the former commercial banker, college basketball coach, retail manager and distributor sales rep spends his “working hours” writing political op-eds.

Over the years he has earned a multitude of certifications in the athletics, banking and wine. He began his volunteer service to his community while still in his teens and quickly rose to the Presidency of his local Little League. Later in life he led up a trade organization and a county political party.

Larry joined the Safe Space Board in 2012 as a way to give back to the community and help those in a desperate hour of need. His inspiration is his admiration for the courage it takes to leave an abusive relationship, often with no more than the clothes on your back and the bruises on your body — often penniless and with children in tow.

Jim Moss

Jim_MossJim is Safe Space’s longest-serving member of the Board having come on just months after the organization’s inception. He is an alumnus of North Carolina State University.

Jim has a history of public service, including having served multiple terms on the Franklin County Board of Commissioners. His basic instinct is to find a way to help others. As the father of three daughters, he is particularly interested in women’s issues.

Joyce Neff


As a UNC-educated family nurse practitioner since 1979, Joyce has seen and interacted with many victims of domestic violence. “Safe Space offers an important intervention for such victims and I’m honored to serve on this board,” says Joyce. “In these few years on the board I have been impressed with the organization’s use of resources and the excellent ratio of huge service to small administrative costs,” she adds.

Joyce’s nursing career began many years ago at a St. Louis inner city hospital. She worked with adolescent and adult drug abusers, in mental health facilities, in a women’s prison, and in a community health center in Raleigh, as well as with the Frontier Nursing Service in eastern Kentucky. Today she enjoys a family practice with Dr. Sayles in Louisburg.

Many long years ago, Joyce was named NC nurse practitioner of the year. She received the JC Penney Golden Rule award for helping to settle a few hundred Montagnard refugees escaping Vietnam. More recently, she attended Duke’s integrative medicine program for mindfulness-based stress reduction and taught a few groups of people with stress, panic attacks, and chronic pain, as well as others in need of anger management. Joyce believes that we all are to use our education/skills/ talents and resources for the benefit of our community both locally and globally.

Rev. Rory Sneed


Reverend Sneed has served as pastor of Rocky Chapel Missionary Baptist Church for the past eight years. He earned a B.A. in Psychology and a Masters of Divinity from Shaw University.

Reverend Sneed’s service to his fellow man neither begins nor ends at his church’s doors. He has worked with the Franklin County Schools, the North Carolina Department of Corrections and the Center for the Prevention of School Violence.

His fervor to combat domestic violence was tragically reinforced by the loss of a high school classmate to a fatal incident of domestic violence.

A sought-after speaker, Reverend Sneed has been married to his wife Fannette for 17 years.

Ferne Winborne

Ferne is a native North Carolinian having lived in Franklin County for over 25 years. She graduated from NC State before embarking on a long career with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Having herself been a victim of violence in the past, Ferne has a particular passion for Safe Space’s mission. A married mother of two, she currently resides in Louisburg’s Historic District.


Lauren Paparone

Lauren Paparone, originally from Poughkeepsie, NY, has lived and worked in 3 states and several countries over her career in IT Program Management.  She holds a BS in Biology and advanced degrees in Information Technology, Health and Human Services Administration and Management.  She holds several certifications in coaching and project management.

Lauren is an accomplished Life and Business Coach, PMP (Project Management Professional) with over 30 years of business experience ranging from training, coaching, marketing, application development, program integration, project/program management, grant management, financial management, quality assurance, human relations, and customer relationship management.  Lauren has experience consulting, coaching, and managing multi-national teams around the globe.

Currently, Lauren is the owner and President of Personal Empowerment-Project Management Leadership Coaching, Consulting and Training.  Lauren facilitates workshops and trains teams on leadership, stress management, time management, project management, business planning, entrepreneurship, and other business topics.  She is a mentor for small business owners, non-profits and entrepreneurs.

 Lauren is a member of the International organization Soroptimist, Raleigh chapter, a global volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.

Lauren’s primary interest is to empower women and girls to reach their full potential and to overcome the obstacles which they face in their lives.


Safe Space Community Partners

NO_MORE_INLINE_TAG_L_RGB NO MORE is a unifying symbol and campaign to raise public awareness and engage bystanders around ending domestic violence and sexual assault.  NO MORE is supported by hundreds of national and local groups and by thousands of individuals, organizations, universities, and communities who are using its signature blue symbol to increase visibility for domestic violence and sexual assault.


An online resource hub for victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault in North Carolina.


A free online tool that helps users find a shelter near them and get help regardless of where they are or what language they speak.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

A free online hotline with highly trained advocates who are available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.

The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence

NCCADV leads the state’s movement to end domestic violence and to enhance work with survivors through collaborations, innovative trainings, prevention, technical assistance, state policy development and legal advocacy.

North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault

The North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault is an inclusive, statewide alliance working to end sexual violence through education, advocacy, and legislation.